Astros Notes: Porter, Luhnow, Managerial Search

The Astros fired manager Bo Porter yesterday, and owner Jim Crane confirms to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle that Porter and GM Jeff Luhnow weren’t seeing eye to eye. “[The GM and the manager] have to be closely aligned and singing the same song,” said Crane. “That wasn’t happening.” Crane acknowledged that Porter was put in a difficult situation and said he feels Porter “did a pretty good job with what we gave him” before voicing his support for Luhnow’s vision. Crane says that Nolan Ryan, Reid Ryan and Craig Biggio will all be involved in the search for the next Houston manager, and he wonders if the Astros would benefit from someone with more managerial experience.

Here’s more on Porter’s firing and the search for the next Astros skipper…

  • There were some within the Astros organization that thought Porter should be dismissed following the 2013 season, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney in his daily Insider-only blog. However, the prevailing opinion wound up being that it was too soon to let go of a manager who had just completed his first season. Olney spoke with team sources that told him some players and club employees are angry over the situation. Some club employees are even looking for jobs elsewhere, according to Olney.
  • With porter out of the picture in Houston, Luhnow could be next on the chopping block if the team does not show significant improvement in 2014, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines (video link). One specific area of improvement for Luhnow will be showing that he can successfully build a bullpen, Rosenthal points out.
  • Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle spoke with pitching coach Brent Strom regarding his relationship with Porter, and Strom had positive things to say. Strom was hired by Luhnow and has a longstanding relationship with the GM, but says he learned a lot from Porter, whom he met just this past offseason. “I really grew to appreciate his intelligence and his attention to detail,” Strom said. “I actually learned a great deal from him, I really did. Stuff that in all my years of baseball I had not thought about, and I documented all those things and actually had passed it on to our minor league pitching coaches for future years throughout our system.”
  • Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo is likely to be a candidate, sources tell’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).
  • Some “potential candidates,” according to’s Brian McTaggart, include former Astros star (and current adviser) Craig Biggio. Other possibilities include bench coaches Tim Bogar (Rangers) and Dave Martinez (Rays) along with third base coaches Dave Clark (Tigers) and Joe McEwing (White Sox). McTaggart’s colleague, Richard Justice, also tweets that Bogar is a candidate.
  • In addition to the names listed above, Drellich lists some other hypothetical candidates for the skipper’s role. Former big league managers Manny Acta and Trey Hillman, A’s bench coach Chip Hale, Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo, recent Padres assistant GM A.J. Hinch, and interim manager Tom Lawless.

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7 Comments on "Astros Notes: Porter, Luhnow, Managerial Search"

11 months 29 days ago

Might as well just continue the debacle and hire Bobby Valentine, right?

11 months 29 days ago

I’m very sad that you just linked the Astros to Bobby V. What an administratively bad year it’s been in Houston.

11 months 29 days ago

I was just thinking about him earlier this morning and how poor a move it was to call out Youk in spring training.

11 months 29 days ago

Manager issues are common. But Appel over Bryant and Aiken over Rodon? Luhnow should be fired for those decisions.

11 months 29 days ago

Maybe there are two problems here, Luhnow and Porter? It does make one wonder who would want the job as manager, and what real authority he will have.

11 months 29 days ago

While all reasonable, this is builds on the “Luhnow is terrible to work for/with” narrative.

He’s now got enough rope to hang himself, he better hope for a phenomenal hire and an immaculate draft because I don’t think he keeps his job otherwise.

11 months 29 days ago

Seems Lovullo could do better than the Astros, with some of the jobs he’s been connected to in the past